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April 20, 2020, 2:26 a.m. EDT

UK regulator probes Elanco asset sale to Dechra

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By Adria Calatayud

The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority said Monday that it is opening a formal phase 1 investigation into Elanco Animal Health Inc.'s anticipated sale of its Osurnia product portfolio to Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC.

The antitrust regulator said it has a deadline of June 17 for a decision on the initial probe.

Last month, the CMA said it was considering whether the deal might be expected to hurt competition in the U.K. and opened a consultation which closed on April 17.

Animal-health company Elanco in January agreed to sell Osurnia, a treatment for otitis externa in dogs, to U.K. veterinary medicines company Dechra for $135 million in cash. The deal was part of Elanco's efforts to gain regulatory clearance for its $7.6 billion acquisition of Bayer AG's animal-health business.

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